How Do I Detect Remote Access on My Computer?

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In today's hyper-connected environment, our computers act as portals to a wide array of services and resources that we use on a daily basis. Whether you are buying groceries or checking your bank account, your computer has become a one-stop solution for managing daily tasks. With this level of accessibility, however, comes a fair share of security risks.


When you connect your computer to the internet, the possibility of unwanted intrusion from hackers and cybercriminals increases. In the worst case scenario, the deployment of malware through fraudulent emails and links results in remote access to sensitive information stored on your hardware. Fortunately, there are tools available to you that can provide remote access detection and help ensure that you have the security systems in place to eliminate these potential threats.

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You can detect remote access on your computer by identifying the software programs currently in use and recognizing any abnormalities.


Remote Access Detection Basics

If you have ever wondered "Is someone else controlling my computer," you are not alone. Third-party manipulation of your computer hardware via the internet is a pressing problem that should be addressed as quickly as possible to avoid falling victim to serious cybercrimes.

When someone gains remote access to your computer, your hardware executes tasks independent of your own engagement. For example, if your computer has been remotely accessed, you may see applications opening spontaneously or notice odd slowdowns in operating speed. This is a telltale indication that someone is using your system without your consent. In a situation such as this, your first action should be to immediately power off your computer and deactivate any connections to wireless or LAN-based internet. While this is not a permanent fix, it terminates any remote access that had been in progress immediately.


Using the Task Manager to Detect Access

You can use the Windows Task Manager on your computer to assess whether any programs have been opened on your computer without your knowledge. If you see programs in use that you did not execute, this is a strong indication that remote access has occurred. You can press the "Ctrl," "Alt" and "Delete" keys in combination to open your computer's Task Manager. From here, it is a matter of reviewing current programs in operation and identifying any abnormal remote access to your computer actions.


Reviewing Your Firewall Settings

Select the "Windows Firewall" option from your computer's control panel to explore the current settings for your firewall security. The firewall acts as a powerful shield against unwanted remote access. If you notice that a program has been granted access to move past your firewall without your consent, this could be a sign that a hacker has enabled remote access. If this is the case, immediately remove any changes that have been made to your firewall, restart your computer, and run an anti-virus scan on your hardware. If you take these steps, you can significantly block further remote access. If you are still unsure whether your computer is protected, take your hardware to a professional service that can evaluate your remote access detection protocols.